Hi, I'm Holly.

A 35-year old Scottish Lass with a love for highlight, heels and homeware.



Vieve Skin dew Review

Hey everyone!

It's been a long time since I've written up a beauty review but I have been trying out a good amount of products recently and really wanted to write a Vieve Skin Dew Review.


If you don't know much about the brand 'Vieve', it was created by the makeup wonderwoman that is Jamie Genevieve. If you haven't heard of her, then I've linked her channel so you can go and have a wee skeg at her videos. If you havent got much time on your hands, maybe consider watching her videos when you do have time -- you'll become addicted very quickly.

Vieve Skindew costs £19 and is available from the Vieve website and Cult Beauty. I bought it with my own money (this was not gifted but JG, if you're reading this, send me your entire collection, I'll repay you with happy thoughts).

Anyways, jokes (kinda) aside, as you all know, I am a highlight lover. I love to glow and this has been described by people as being like 'a glow from within' which sent me straight for the 'add to cart' button. 


The package arrived within a couple of days and I was into that packet quicker than my boyfriend can tuck into a bar of chocolate (That's really bloody quick BTW, almost as quickly as I can eat a bag of Doritos).


The packaging is sleek, packaged in a white box, The tube itself (which contains 20ml of product) has a glossy finish and a matte black lid. 

I always find applying liquid highlighter with a brush to be a bit of a faff, so for initially trying this, I used the palms of my hands. I applied a squish of the product onto my palm, rubbed them together (gently) and then pressed it onto the high points of my cheeks. This gave me a really nice subtle dew, but I was really going for that 'pop' of glow, so I applied some using my fingers which really hit the spot.

The texture is tacky but not heavy. I didn't notice any pilling or product transfer (i've been using this for 4 months) and it doesn't 'sit' on the skin. My hair didn't get stuck to it and the 'glow' wears really well throughout the day. I've been using this quite regularly and I haven't had any breakouts from it either.


The Vieve Skindew is quite unlike any other liquid highlighter that I've used before, in fact, it's quite unlike any other product I've used before, so finding a dupe for this in the drugstore would be quite difficult. Personally, £19 for this might seem a tad steep, but it's so worth it. A small amount goes a long way and it's a unique product that you are unlikely to have similar of in your makeup collection. 

If you have any posts of Skindew - send me them! I'll share your content on my insta stories :) (insta @hollysturgeonofficial)

What do you think of Skindew? and Vieve in general? Let me know your thoughts and as always thanks for visiting my blog! 

Holly x

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Is there anybody out there?

I'm baaaack, but, is there anybody out there? It's definitely been too long since I last posted on here. So much has happened since we last spoke. Obviously the 'Rona is still kicking about but I've also had a baby! which is why I've been so quiet on my blog. I thought I'd take this opportunity (Baby is in a milk coma ATM) to sit down with a cuppa and fill you all in.

Before I get started I just want to take a wee moment to say that I am thinking of anyone who has had or whose loved ones have had, Coronavirus. I've been lucky thus far to avoid it but I know how fragile life can be and can only imagine how heartbreaking it is for those who haven't been so fortunate in avoiding it. I hope you are all doing ok and if anyone needs to chat then my DMs are always open across social media and you can email me at  At the end of the day, despite being so far apart, we are genuinely ALL in this together.

Moving onto what I came here to talk about - My Son! Please welcome Charlie to the world! Born on 20/11/20 at 06.25am and weighing 8.8lbs, he is Chris's double (arsehole!) and I love every inch of him. The delivery was tough (36 hours of induced labour which ended with an emergency csection) but I will write up my birth story and share it with you all really soon. For now though, I wanted to introduce you all to our wee Bonnie Prince Charlie (as my 86 year old nana says!)

I don't know how much or how little Charlie will appear across my platforms.  I guess Chris and I will just figure it out as we go but while he is still a cute little baby, I thought it would be nice to share some pictures for you all to see. 

Charlie is already almost 14 weeks old and is an absolute wee smasher.  I nickname him 'Baby Asshole' because he has asshole tendencies like most babies do.  Anyone with half a sense of humour will understand, but if you're on the fence, then let me convince you! he peed on my Mums Christmas cake, regularly has put his hands in his dirty shitey nappy and squished the contents and happily threw up on my top and rubbed his face in the spew whilst giggling. Asshole, right? He's my wee asshole though, I love him more than I can ever put into words.  

Someone on social media recently asked how I am and the truthful answer is that right now, right in this second, I am okay.  Charlies birth was traumatic and something I think about every single day. I physically feel much better than I was (FYI sneezing after a Csection is not the one..) but mentally and emotionally, I do have moments where I feel anxious or sad. I think that's really normal and I've spoken to people around me about it, who say they have experienced similar or know someone who has but have been too afraid to talk about it for fear of having people think it means they love their child less than they should, which of course, is not the case.  Obviously, this is a huge subject and it's something I feel strongly about (I have lots of opinions nowadays..) and will probably write a blog post about it at some point. 

I will also write up (another) blog post all about Charlie but for now, I'm going to get back to looking after him. I used to think I was busy before I had a baby but GODDAMN was I wrong! Chris & I take it in turns to eat nowadays because Charlie hates being put down. Anyone who is reading this and thinking it's because Charlie is spoiled is right. I 100% spoil my child with love... that's sarcasm btw. You cannot spoil a baby, especially not with love! Sigh, I feel like no-one has even said a critical word and I'm already defending myself. 

This post is a load of gibberish but here's Charlie - Ta-daaaa! 

I need a lie down....

Holly x


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40 Weeks Pregnant Update

 Hey everyone!

It's been a minute or two since I last updated you all on here about how my pregnancy is going and what's been happening.  I've received SO many lovely messages across social media (which is where I am most active right now as I'm on Maternity Leave) and I've also received dozens upon dozens of questions, which is why I thought I would update you all in a Q&A formatted type of Blog Post!

How Am I Feeling?

Everyone says the first and third trimesters are the worst but actually, for me, I found the second trimester difficult as I've mentioned previously. The last few weeks especially, although uncomfortable, has been pretty good! Chris has been a huge support to me and the fact he has been able to attend all of my medical appointments with me has made me feel much more supported during this last stage of pregnancy. Every pregnant woman is different but for me, feeling well supported is key to my overall wellbeing.

Physically, I'm uncomfortable (I'm currently 40+3). Lightening crotch, heartburn, bursts of energy followed by a 3 hour nap and mood swings that would put even Charlotte Wells to shame (fans of the TV show 'Ratched' will get this reference!). The more exercise I do, the more 'discomfort' I feel but it'll all be worth it, right? RIGHT?

Have you had a stretch and sweep? How was it?

I had a stretch and sweep at the hospital last Thursday. My cervix was still <1cm dilated and was still 3cm long (which is too long for a 'successful' sweep) but the midwife still managed to sweep what was there at the time and the next day I lost the remainder of my mucus plug (I had already passed part of it a few days prior - Google 'mucus plug' if you want to ruin your next meal...)

In terms of how the sweep was, it was uncomfortable. My midwife had 'small hands and fingers' so 'reaching' my cervix was a struggle (it was still quite far back and the lovely midwife was trying her best). It started out much like a smear test but ended up a bit like when you're rummaging through the kitchen drawers looking for that Kinder Bueno you swear you haven't already eaten. It was bearable and whilst it wasn't the highlight of my day, it's definitely something you can easily get through for the short time it's happening.

Do You Have An Induction Booked?

Yes! I have an induction booked in a week or so which I'm hoping not to need. I was quite overwhelmed by the explanation of what happens throughout the induction so when I came home from our appointment, I researched the process properly and whilst it's less than ideal and I would love to labour naturally, if it's required then I need to remember that it's for the best and I can do it.

It's worth mentioning that it's not the midwife's fault that I was overwhelmed by her explanation. I have a bad habit of only hearing the bad things and overwhelming myself at the same time.

How Is Baby Doing?

We've been so fortunate throughout this pregnancy that our baby boy is (touch wood) doing perfectly. Growing well, no known issues and kicking his mummy day in and out (much to the amusement of Daddy). 

Any Product Recommendations?

I've been using some bed pads for night time just in case my waters break through the night because I figure the last thing we need to return home to is a wet bed. I've also packed some for the car ride to and from hospital just in case which has really put my mind at ease. I got these at Boots for less than a fiver.

I also bought a birthing ball a couple of months ago which has been great (well worth the £20!) for taking the pressure off of my pelvis.

Packing cubes for your hospital bags are a god send! You can get a set on Amazon or Ebay for about a fiver but they've really helped me for packing things for the hospital bag. 

I'll be doing a full 'what I packed in my hospital bag' blog post soon by the way!

As a side note, try finding maternity pads with wings. You'll thank me later.


There were a few more questions which I think I'll answer more once the baby has arrived but until then, this will be my last pregnancy update until after he arrives where I'll be talking about delivery, products, Christmas and of course, will introduce you to our beautiful baby boy!

Until then, wish me luck! 

H x

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The Second Trimester

I remember getting to 14 weeks and thinking "that dragged! this pregnancy is going to take forever" but actually, in many ways the second trimester has flown by.
I am currently 28 weeks pregnant which means I am in my third trimester. I have so much to tell you all about how my second trimester went and what's happening with the baby so I wanted to share it all in a big blog post.

I find it quite hard to talk about how I feel during pregnancy for fear that if I'm caught complaining then I'll be judged as a bad mum. No one else has ever said that,  just my own fears and insecurities have made me feel that way.

With that said, the whole point of talking about my pregnancy is because I really want to share an accurate 'real' account of of how pregnancy is (so far), paying special attention to how a plus-size pregnancy is after hearing so many mixed stories about the impact my weight would have on pregnancy and how I would be treated by professionals as a plus size woman.


I'm not going to lie to you the second trimester has been a journey for many reasons, none of which are related in any way to my weight or size.

It's important to remember that pregnancy is different for every woman.

Dizziness after eating 

Something I never read or heard about from all the blogs and videos I've looked at is the impact something as simple as eating can have on your body when you're pregnant. 

Thankfully, the nausea passed early into the second trimester but what quickly followed has been feeling off balance and quite dizzy after eating. I had blood tests done to rule out any 'big' problems but as it turns out, my blood vessels are relaxed due to pregnancy (that relaxin hormone!) and some women find that they feel somewhat dizzy when they stand up or after they eat because the blood doesn't reach the lungs or brain quickly enough which then causes dizziness. When I eat, the blood focuses on digesting the food and feeding the baby so that in turn makes me feel dizzy. 

My midwife explained it much better than I can but it's a relatively common complaint that will disappear once the baby is born. 

As a result of this, I have been avoiding eating much and have lost 3 stones in weight, which is why actually, being overweight in my pregnancy has been a relatively good thing. If I was already quite slim, my baby may have suffered growth wise but because I have 'reserves', the baby is growing perfectly.

Blood pressure 

My blood pressure, much like many women in pregnancy,  dropped in the second trimester. I didn't have low blood pressure but it certainly was on the low side of normal for me. My blood pressure is back to 'normal' now.

Gestational diabetes 

I had a test done to rule out gestational diabetes at 26 weeks. This involved fasting and having a blood test. Apparently this is done differently to normal right now due to covid19. My result came back clear and my levels are all deemed as 'normal'. See, not all plus size women get gestational diabetes! Doctor google and the media would have you believe otherwise...

Hip Pain

I've had hip pain, especially at night time when I'm trying to sleep. It's not excruciating, just 'uncomfortable'. My uterus is pressing on my sciatic nerve which is really common in pregnancy (in women of ALL shapes and sizes) which is what is causing it.


I've discussed this before on my blog. I have anxiety and throughout the second trimester (mainly caused by feeling dizzy), I've struggled. I wrote a blog post on how I deal with it which I will link here.

Kicks, Rolling, Punches etc

This is the part I actually quite like! Our baby is very active and regularly kicks or punches me to the point where I can actually see my belly bounce with each jab! Again, I read online that as a plus size woman I would struggle to feel my baby. So untrue in my case! I also have an anterior (front facing) placenta.

Aside from these, I've had no problems so far! let's talk about the baby...


Our baby is currently growing perfectly! As I mentioned before, he's a right wee wriggler and is very active through each scan we have which is fantastic! He also currently weighs 2.9lbs and is in the 55th percentile (almost bang in the middle which according to my widwife is 'ideal').

Throughout the second trimester he was breech off and on which is really common but at our 28 week scan we were informed that he is head down now. Obviously this could change again before the birth.


I was told initially that I may need to be induced a week or 2 early depending on how the baby grows (if the baby is too small or too big they sometimes like to induce, this is sometimes caused by women who are 'overweight' due to restricted room). However, I've been told by my anesthetist and midwife that I currently have no reason to suggest getting induced and stand as good a chance as any other woman of having a vaginal or natural birth. 

So there we have the second trimester all wrapped up! I wonder what the third trimester will hold...?

If you have any questions then please feel free to ask! 

H x

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For those of you who don't know, myself and Chris are looking to find a place to live together (once lockdown lifts here in Scotland!). I'm not going to bore you with the boring details of the ins and outs, but the best part - decorating and furnishings - I am HERE for.

I was recently contacted by Photowall, who kindly offered me a framed print of my choice from their website. The opportunity couldn't have come at a better time - I also have a 25% discount code. Just enter 'hollysturgeon25' at checkout.

Photowall allow you to choose between print, poster, wallpaper or your own picture. You can then choose the size that suits you and frame of your choice (if desired).

I literally had hundreds of options to choose from. Categories include Art, Nature, Animals and Vintage. There's 18 categories in total to choose from. I had an idea in mind to get a large landscape scottish highland cow picture for above the sofa but with so many different designs and finishes to choose from, it was difficult trying to decide on one.  In the end I was able to find exactly what I had in mind!

The print took roughly 3 days to arrive which was much faster than I expected. It came in a box with bubble wrap inside to protect it. On the back of the frame (I opted for a matte black frame) there were fixtures prepared for hanging which makes things much easier.

Myself and Chris haven't found our home just yet, but I've taken photos of the picture in my room so that you can see it. We very luckily were given a beautiful red leather sofa and chairs from our lovely friends Gill & Lee, which works perfectly with the 'Scottish/Modern yet traditional' vibe we are hoping for.

For anyone who is looking to get some artwork for their home or as gifts, then check out Photowall and use my discount code 'hollysturgeon25' to get 25% off. The code is valid until 15th August 2020.

H x
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20 week scan & Pregnancy Anxiety

You might have seen across social media that I had my 20 week anomaly scan on Friday the 19th June where we discovered we are having a beautiful baby boy!

So many people have sent both Chris & I such lovely messages and I just want to say a huge thank you for that. A lot of those people have asked me to share my 20 week scan experience and how I feel so that's what I want to do today.

I'm not going to lie, the second trimester so far has been a journey. I've been feeling lightheaded and extremely anxious to the point where I have sought help from my doctor, midwife and family. My family and Chris have been amazing as always but I have really struggled. The reason I want to talk about it today is not for sympathy, but to let anyone else know who is going through the same thing that you are not alone.

My anxiety is ongoing. I've had it for a long time and over the years, I've learned how to deal with it, but since becoming pregnant, much like other emotions, the anxiety has been heightened. I even at one stage questioned my 'sanity' and wondered if I was losing it. It turns out that my hormones mixed with a pre existing anxiety issue causing this level of anxiety is to be expected (although, please don't think that it will happen to you if you have anxiety and get pregnant, everyone is different!).

I have been having rough days where I pretty much wake up with anxiety and go to sleep being anxious but I also have days where I wake up with a positive attitude and find the day 'easier' to get through. When this all started (around 13 weeks pregnant), every day was a rough day and thanks to the support I've received from my family, Chris, midwives and mental health nurse, I'm now having more 'easier' days.

Things that have really helped me include:

- Being honest. I thought that being honest with how I felt made me vulnerable and would mean I would be judged or deemed a bad mother for feeling the way I do. I went through (and still do) phases of feeling like the end of the world is near and wondered if I will bond with my baby but actually after discussing this with my support system (family, chris, midwives & mental health nurse), I was soon told that these thoughts are perfectly normal and most pregnant women will experience these doubts. Getting even the daftest of fears off my chest really makes me feel more 'normal'.

- Meditation. I'm not going to lie, I thought meditation was for hippies and people with a much stronger mindset than me. After advice from my loved ones, I downloaded Headspace and began trying it. It works amazingly. Nothing works instantly, it's a process but bit by bit it helps you to retrain and refocus your mind on the here and now.

- Putting the 'what if's' to one side. I realised that the majority of my anxieties came from 'what if' scenarios. What if I have a panic attack in public? what if I am unwell? What if there's something wrong?. My mental health nurse told me that putting them to one side and only focussing on them if they arise - which by the way, of all the things I've worried about, 99% have never happened. I think it's because I have this mindset of 'prepare for the worst and hope for the best' but instead of only doing that when something actually goes wrong, I do it for every scenario I can think of in order to 'protect' myself somehow.  Of all the things that I've ever experienced, not one single thing has been as bad as my mind has presumed or prepared me for. It's wasted energy.

- Reading. Normally, I'm not much of a reader. I used to think I could find more 'useful' things to do with my time and because I cannot mentally 'connect' to fiction books, I figured I would go down the self help/biography route, so I've been reading Ant Middletons 'The Fear Bubble'. I love it and it really helps to focus my attention on something other than myself.

- Challenging myself. For a while, I would keep the bathroom door unlocked when I went for a shower, 'Just in case' something happened and someone needed to help me. One day I was half way through my shower when I realised the door was locked. Instead of panicking and jumping out of the shower to unlock the door, I just decided to focus on the water and go with it. Since then, I've been locking the door as 'normal'.

A lot of these things might not work for you, but I just wanted to share what helps me.

What advice for calming anxiety do you have?

H x

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For as long as I can remember, I've always felt passionately about people being treated equally to others.  I've mentioned my dismay and loathe of racism on social media many many times, but to be honest, it's not enough just to say something 'inspiring' or preachy, I need to do more. A lot of us do. I'm being 100% honest with you in todays post on a subject that is understandably sensitive and I hope you will be equally as open and honest with yourselves.

I'm not going to monetize this post. If you have a spare £1 to spare, then the Official George Floyd Memorial Page is a great way to show your support. Alternatively, if you cannot support financially, then there are petitions you can sign/share which I will list at the end of this post.

A simple Google search of 'racial brutality' shows over 50 million results. Many of them with disturbing stories of black men and women dying at the hands of racism. A lot of you might be reading this and thinking "That's so sad but I'm not racist?". It's not enough to not be racist. We need to do more.

I live in a predominantly white area. Dumfries and Galloway is mainly a 'white' area, but there are many Black, mixed race & ethnic groups who do live here. I've never really heard of any racism in the town which is why I think it's so easy to disassociate from it. It's that old age tale of 'what you don't see you forget about'. I was wrong to be so naive. For that, I am sorry.

One time racism was an issue however, was when myself and my friends were in a pub alongside one of our black friends. Two older white, drunk men, came into the pub and said "Are those lassies being bothered by that *N word*?"  Our friend looked unphazed, as though they had heard that and much worse many times before. The manager of the pub happily removed the men from the premises at our request as we called them several expletives as they left.

Woopdidoodah, they were kicked out of a pub. It's not enough. We should have called the police and had them arrested for hate speech. We should have taken their photos and shamed them across social media. We just should have done more.

The time is NOW to stop racism. It's not acceptable. It should never have been acceptable and whilst I, as a white priviledged woman, will never understand, I truly stand shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand, with my black brothers and sisters. I won't try to lead the fight, it's not for me or any other white person to try to be the saviour. We shouldn't try to save the world, we should be joining in the fight against it as our black friends take front and centre stage.

I'm trying to educate myself on white privilege and racism in general. I hope you will join me by checking out the below resources.

I appreciate that reading something will never make me understand because I haven't experienced it.  I can't change that, but what I can change is my ignorance and lack of knowledge.

I'm sorry it's taken another innocent black life to be taken for the world to do something about racism. I'm sorry this has happened, but I truly want to do my part in making sure it doesn't happen again.






Holly x

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80's Jamie Genevieve Inspired Makeup Look

If you're a Jamie Genevieve subscriber then you probably will recognise that this look is heavily influenced by her 80s look that she did for #Jamiesweekofcolour

I added a few changes, I used different products to achieve the look simply because that's what I had to hand. I also added white to the lower water line and changed the shape of the eye makeup because sadly, I don't look like the goddess that is Jamie Genevieve so I switched it up to suit my eye shape. 

Products used:


White liquid liner by collection 
New look khol liner in black 
Ps brow 2 in 1 
Pixi brow gel


Let me know if you'd like to see a specific look for me to recreate and I might (night emphasis on the word "might") film a tutorial. I might also recreate the look using more drugstore products too :)

H x

*This post features some press samples and affiliate links.
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Plus Size Pregnancy

When I first discovered I was pregnant, I was instantly hit with this fear of 'I'm overweight, will I hurt my baby?' and 'Will I even get a baby bump?' In todays post, I'm going to talk about how I've experienced plus size pregnancy (so far! I'm currently 15+4) and tell you what the experts have told me.

For those of you who don't know,  I am a UK size 20/22 which places me firmly in the plus size category. My weight/height ratio makes me in the obese category.

You see and hear so many things in the media that are unfounded nonsense, but you also hear experts discussing things that are definitely not unfounded. I was struggling to find the middle ground between the two. I figured the only way to deal with my insecurities was to ask the experts.

I wrote down all of the questions I had in mind and throughout my appointments, asked different medical experts (doctor, midwives, pharmacist) for their thoughts.


When I first discovered I was pregnant, I called my GP and registered as pregnant and asked if I had to do any further tests for the doctor. At first I spoke with a lovely medical secretary. I was understandably shaken and because of my anxiety it was obvious in my voice how I was feeling. Because of this, the lovely lady offered to transfer me to the doctor.

When I spoke to the doctor I explained everything and then burst into tears. The Doctor said 'Are you ok? was this unexpected?' I said 'I'm thrilled but I'm terrified' he asked what I was scared of and I said 'I'm significantly overweight'.

My Doctor replied with "ha! don't worry about that! It doesn't matter right now. You're otherwise healthy and if there are any problems that arise we will take good care of you and your baby. You're not at any higher risk than anyone else right now so let's just take each day as it comes".

I can't lie, his blasé attitude really assured me but at the same time, I felt compelled to discuss it with my midwife once I was assigned one.


I've spoken to quite a few midwives thus far and haven't actually spoken with my actual midwife yet due to Coronavirus/Covid-19. With that said, I've been very well taken care of so far and I've been able to speak to someone anytime I've needed to. On my 'booking appointment' which was a phone appointment, I asked my Midwife a few questions.

I'm significantly overweight. Should I be worried?

The lovely midwife replied by asking me about my health in general (I keep pretty good health). I was asked about my blood pressure to which I explained that I have 'white coat syndrome' (I get high blood pressure in a medical environment caused by anxiety).

I was told "Ok Holly, first thing's first. Congratulations!!! I am going to treat you the same way I would with any pregnant woman. When you're overweight you sometimes get high blood pressure which we will keep an eye on because of the risk of pre-eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia can happen to anyone at any size but it's straight forward to monitor and control your blood pressure should that be an issue. We will increase your visits in the third trimester just to keep an eye on you. Gestational Diabetes is also something we will keep an eye out for, but Holly, I've seen heavily overweight women sail through pregnancy with no issues and I've seen slim women have the issues we discussed. Pregnancy is unique to each woman and size invariably doesn't impact that much! The end result is equal in any woman - which is usually a happy healthy baby."

Am I 'High Risk'?

"Not right now, but we will monitor you throughout pregnancy just as we would with any woman"

Will I Squash my Baby?

"No. It's well protected in there"

Will I have any problems at my ultrasound? I've heard if you're overweight it's hard to see baby.

"Noooo! Just drink plenty of water and if all else fails we will do a T/V scan. There's always a way! We are more than used to different body types."


I also spoke to my pharmacist as I was advised to take 5mg of folic acid daily, Vitamin D and a baby aspirin daily. I asked him if this meant anything, to which I was told:

"It's a higher dose of Folic Acid because you have a higher BMI, it just means there's more needed. Everyone is advised to take Vitamin D and as for the baby aspirin, it's a preventative measure for Pre-Eclampsia. Many women are offered it."


I feel the exact same things as other pregnant women. I've developed a burning hip which tingles when I lie on it which I was convinced was being caused by my weight but after bringing it up to a midwife she informed me that it was simply the Uterus putting pressure on the sciatic nerve and that it happens to women of all weights.

Aside from that, I think my mindset has a huge roll to play in how I'm feeling. Anxiety is something I've had to deal with for many years but since becoming pregnant, I feel as though it has been heightened.

Aside from that, I'm ok. I feel so blessed to be pregnant and I'll update you every step of the way.

H x
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My First Trimester

I thought my first trimester would be the easiest time of pregnancy. I thought I would breeze through it like I have seen so many times by celebrities who post their announcements looking gorgeous and talking about their blessing. In reality, I had a slightly different experience and whilst I am loving every minute of being Pregnant, I think it's only fair that I tell you about the realities of not only my first trimester but also being pregnant during a global Pandemic.

Once I found out I was pregnant, Chris and I decided only to tell our immediate families. We decided we wanted to wait until our first scan (at 12 weeks) before letting everyone else know. Why? Well it's strange, but the moment I discovered I was pregnant I became instantly protective of our baby and that included even just telling people about it.

The first thing I noticed is that EARLY PREGNANCY IS FULL OF TELLING LIES!!

Funny story actually, (loose on the word funny), on the Saturday after we discovered my pregnancy, Our Neice Khloe was round but she had Chicken Pox!! I had to hide in Chris's bedroom for hours so she didn't see me (otherwise she'd want to see me) so we had to lie to her parents and say I hadn't had the pox before so had to avoid her! Avoiding a 3 year old - especially the cutest wee 3 year old ever, is impossible! but we managed.

On top of that, on the same day, Chris & I's friend, Darren, had a weightlifting competition (which he absolutely smashed and came back with a medal!). The 'boys' (grown ass men) all went to support Darren whilst the girls (laaaaaydies obvs) had a wee gathering at Stephs (Darrens beautiful wife) where we had wine and lunch together with their gorgeous children. I had to rely on Vicky, my sister in law, to help me hide the pregnancy. Our friends are like wee inspector gadgets and would know instantly if I said I wasn't drinking (your girl here loves a wee rosé) so we made a plan to say I was taking antibiotics for severe toothache (which they believed... except for DI Gill). We went out that night and somehow, managed to keep it quiet.

Literally two days after this, lockdown was announced. I started to self isolate seperately from Chris as pregnant women are at an increased risk (due to the unknown aspect) of catching a more serious version of the virus and potentially passing it to their baby. Chris is a key worker and so we've been living seperately for 7 weeks.


I didn't really get any symtoms other than missing a period until around 6 weeks which is when I started to notice things changing.


The first symptom I noticed was Nausea. I was never actually sick (and so far haven't been!) but certain smells and ANY hot food really made me feel sick. This continued and increased in intensity before getting slightly better nearer the 12/13 week mark. I still get the weirdest feeling of either needing to be sick or needing to sneeze the minute I start to eat anything. I usually end up sneezing which is frustrating because the feeling usually continues throughout an entire meal meaning I can never enjoy it. I can't eat pizza anymore it makes me feel sick instantly and the smell of vimto is enough to make me want to leave a room.


I haven't had a huge amount if i'm honest. I had, and still do now and again, have a craving for ice cold milk. I'm not a big milk fan regularly so this was quite a shock. I've also been eating more sweets rather than crisps which is the complete opposite of what I normally am like. Crisps FTW.


Every few weeks, even now at almost 14 weeks, I get pains in my hip and sometimes if I stand too quickly, I get a sharp pain in the bottom of my stomach. This has been going on since around 7 weeks so I'm almost used to it now but at the start I was quite scared by it.


My boobs hurt so bad!! My nipples and the sides of my boobs just ache, especially at night time. My pain started around 8 weeks and I still have it but it sometimes goes away then comes back.


Around about the 10 week mark, I started to get constipation for a few days then I would get an upset stomach for a couple days. I actually had some bum bleeding (Sorry TMI) from it and panicked but after a call to my midwife she assured me all was fine.


Vivid AF dreams. Grandad from Mrs Browns Boys and wee Bob from River City were both in my dream a few days ago. So weird!


There have been days where i've felt like I just wanted to sleep all day long. I make sure to keep to a routine everyday so that I don't indulge in laziness too much (the odd time is fine).


NGL, I've had some anger issues. Small things annoy me for no reason. My Dad asked me to pass him the TV remote which was right beside me and I told him "I could literally stab you in the face right now". OBVIOUSLY, I don't ever get physically angry, but there are times where the rage is real. Ontop of that, I cry...a lot. I don't normally cry all that easily, but now, if I'm on the phone to Chris you can bet your ass I'm probably going to sob about not being able to see him, or as it was the other day, crying (full on sobbing) because my dad interrupted me when I was on the phone to someone. Fail.


Speaking of my mood swings, I thought I'd let you know about how I'm feeling mentally. I feel as though I have this mental checklist and everytime I resolve one thing, I move on to irrationally worrying about the next thing on the list. At the start of my pregnancy, I was in disbelief that I was pregnant. I constantly, right up until my 12 week scan, questioned if I am even pregnant and wondered if everything was ok. At the same time, I felt (and continue to feel) so incredibly grateful to be pregnant. At the start of the pregnancy I was obviously shocked and overwhelmed but I have had no doubts about the love I feel towards our baby. I feel so protective that I spend my days googling things (please don't do it unless its for a practial or 'how to' type thing) and I freaked myself out BIG STYLE. As soon as I heard a horror story I would start panicking that the same would happen to me instead of just feeling sympathetic for the person who did experience it. I know that probably makes me seem like a terrible person but I'm trying to be 100% honest.


Because I am overweight, I take 5mg of Folic Acid daily, a baby aspirin (to avoid pre-eclampsia) and Vitamin D.


I just feel on top of the world knowing that I'm growing a human inside me. Whenever a new symptom comes along I'm actually pleased because it's a good sign that the baby is doing well. My hair is thick and shiny which I love and whilst I don't have a defined bump yet, if I lie on my back (briefly), I can feel a bump. I love measuring myself weekly to see how I'm growing and knowing that I'm passed the first trimester feels like a huge accomplishment.

There's loads more I have to tell you but I'll update you every Wednesday on something baby related so make sure you keep an eye on my blog!

Stay Safe

H x
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Do you need a lockdown reward?*

Life under lockdown is not without challenges. The health advice from WHO and the government agree that the period of self-isolation is not over yet. As such, you need to find something to brighten up the mood. When every day turns into the same indoors experience, a lockdown reward can become a necessary coping strategy.

What are lockdown rewards? It’s a little thing that puts a smile on your face. If you’ve been following your friends on social media, you’ve probably spotted a few new pictures of cakes. Food is the most obvious reward during self-isolation. And, it’s also the one indulgence you should avoid at all costs. Overeating and piling too much sugar-loaded food can affect your mood for the worst – without mentioning that it doesn’t do your health any good. So how can you reward yourself safely under lockdown?

Avoid skin and hair damage

Self-care is the best thing you can do to lift your mood and help yourself stay motivated day after day. Indoors air and stress can put your hair and skin through a lot. From split ends to dry skin, you’re going to tackle those unpleasant issues quickly to feel good and beautiful. When going to the hairdressers isn’t an option anymore, you can focus on conditioning and nourishing your hair. Give your scalp a break from over-shampooing that can dry the hair follicles and cause itchiness. As for your skin, you may be experiencing more breakouts or oiliness than usual. The best approach to fight off lockdown skin is to look for quality skincare products. Products that protect your skin from damage, such as the Colorescience range, can help tackle dull complexion and other lockdown complaints. Feeling confident about your appearance can transform your perception on the lockdown.

Why takeaway isn’t a reward

We’ve mentioned it earlier. Food is no indulgence. As such, while it’s tempting to fall into a lazy routine and order another takeaway meal, you need to be careful over your diet. Under lockdown, your body needs the right nutrients to fight off stress and protect your immune defenses. Cooking from scratch is always a good idea to avoid processed ingredients. More and more households are embracing the joys of cooking from scratch. Unlike baking, which is going to lead to sugar rushes, learning how to cook your essentials can change your relationship to food. For a start, there’s nothing more satisfying than making your own pasta—secondly, the act of cooking taps into a self-care routine too.

The DIY hobbies are your salvation
Creative hobbies can relieve stress. But they do more than that. They let you express your imaginative side and make new things. Becoming a maker rather than a buyer is an instant mood lift. Bored with your wardrobe? You can make a new dress in an afternoon – yes, you can! The lounge is looking dull? How about giving it a fresh coat of paint? Your reward lies in the pride you take each time you look at your creations. ‘I made this, and it’s beautiful.’

As self-isolation shows no sign of ending soon, it’s time to consider the best lockdown rewards for your mood. While staying at home can save lives, it also creates new mental health challenges. Rewarding and motivating yourself need to be part of your self-care routine.
*This is a collaborative article
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Finding Out We're Pregnant

Chris and I have been together a little over a year & a half. From the beginning of our relationship, we've both been totally open and transparent about what we hope our future would look like. Part of that is marriage and children.

I've always said that I would - in an ideal world - like to be married before we have Children, but always agreed that if we fell pregnant then it would be a blessing and I would be over the moon. I've wanted to have the same surname as my child which is why I wanted to be married first and as an extra layer of security (probably sounds crazy!).

Chris on the other hand has always wanted children straight away. This pregnancy was not planned - as you might not be surprised to hear haha - but I just wanted to let you know about how we found out we we are having a baby!

I had missed a period but I was still getting a lot of the same symptoms of one. Cramping, nausea, emotional, yanno',  the usual joys of being a Woman. My periods are usually like clockwork, so for me this was pretty unheard of.

At the time, I was taking Noriday (The mini pill) and was always really careful taking it.  It might also be worth mentioning that I had a really bad tooth abscess at the time so I was taking a high dosage of Antibiotics.  Anyone starting to figure it out yet? Oh good, you're a step ahead of what I was!

On March 11th, (I always remember this date because it was the day before my Dads Birthday!) I went to Chris's house for the day as we had both taken a rare day off. I decided to nip to Superdrug and pick up a pregnancy test 'just incase'.

I got to Chris's house and couldn't take the test - I had stage fright haha peeing on demand is HARD! (I mean not anymore... thanks baby!) so Chris made me drink a bottle of water then I went and tried again.

After a minute or two I checked the test and it clearly had two lines which indicated I was pregnant.  I just stared at the test, had a mini panic attack and cried whilst Chris patiently just sat staring at me waiting for me to say something.

I said "Chris.. Oh my God. NO? OMG!"
he said: "Holly.. WHAT DOES IT SAY??"

I just wept and said "I'm pregnant".

Chris instantly hugged me. We both stared at each other for a while. Read, re-read and read again the pregnancy test instructions and gave each other another huge cuddle as we both became less shocked and more happy with the news.

Chris instantly reassured me, as I panicked and had ZERO cool about it, telling me he was thrilled and he loved me.  After that, I called my doctor and was told about the next steps (My doctor said the pregnancy test is as accurate as the one they give to test) so they instantly referred me to a midwife who asked me a few questions and informed me of an app to download with all of the info we would need, like guides, notes, my medical records etc.

After the calls and the initial shock, Chris just turned to me and said:

"Ohhh the pill doesn't work when you take antibiotics"

Chris had known this ALL ALONG and forgot to tell me! WEE BIT TOO LATE NOW SON!

This is the greatest blessing of our lives and I am beyond grateful to be pregnant.

So there's how we found out! I've got tonnes more to tell you such as how our loved ones reacted, how I'm feeling and a huge chat about the first trimester.

I'm going to try and make Wednesday "Baby Chat Day". If baby chat is a trigger for you or if it's just not your thing then you know you can avoid a Wednesday on my blog.

Pleeeeease share your experiences or questions below or on social media (@hollysturgeon on Twitter & @hollysturgeonofficial on Instagram)

Lots of love,

H x
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Something to tell you...

I've been waiting on this day for what feels like an eternity and now that the day has arrived where I can actually tell you, I feel as though I want to wrap my news up in bubble wrap and protect it forever for some reason but here goes...

I'm so excited (and nervous) to tell you all that Chris & I are having a baby. I'm Pregnant! I've been for my first scan and everything is looking good. I'm currently around 12 and a half weeks pregnant and I'm due in early November.

I've got 101 things to tell you about how we found out, if it was planned, if we plan to find out the sex, how our loved ones reacted and all about the first trimester. I've been keeping notes since we found out and I will be sharing them with you in the coming days but I just wanted to let you all know about our exciting news.

Myself and Chris refer to it as Chicken Nugget because I just figured I was eating too many. LOL! 

If anyone has any suggestions or questions, please let me know and if you'd rather not see baby/pregnancy related content then I understand, so I just wanted to let you know that I'll still be uploading loads of beauty and plus size Fashion related content. I might have a dedicated day of the week where I talk about pregnancy/baby stuff so that you can avoid it if it's not for you.

I would love to make this a safe space for people to discuss any and everything so please be respectful in the comments - I know you lot are awesome so it goes without saying!

Anyways, I'm rambling. There's the news. AHH!! I can't believe I can finally talk about it.

Love always,

Holly, Chris & Chicken Nugget
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Mothers Day Gift Ideas

So, Coronavirus/covid-19 is scary enough without me going on about it. I struggle with anxiety and know that so many of you lovely lot do too. Talking about the C word is a real trigger for a lot of people which is why I'm making my blog a safe, C word free zone. This is the last time it will be mentioned here on my blog and social media.

So moving on from that, I wanted to have a wee chat about Mothers Day.

This post contains gifted items and affiliate links.

Mothers Day 2020 (UK) is on Sunday 22nd of March, which can mean only one thing - Finding a nice gift, preferrably without breaking the bank.

I thought I'd come up with a few suggestions - some beauty, Fashion, something sentimental and something boozy.


Roccabox is a monthly subscription box that is aimed at all Women any age, any size, any lifestyle. The box is filled with five beauty bits that's value exceeds the cost of the box (big style!). Brands that you can expect to find in your box include Huda Beauty, St Tropez, Charles Worthington, Touch In Sol & Living Proof to name a few.

The boxes cost £10 (+ £3.95) postage per month. The price drops a wee bit if you subscribe for 3, 6 or 12 boxes. Each box is pink and filled with shredded paper for displaying the products. I even love using the boxes for storage or drawer seperators for beauty products.

For more information and to buy Roccabox, click here.


For me, sentimental gifts are the best. Something you can look back on in years to come is better than some fancy chocolate (although, if any of you have spare chocolate, fire it my way!) which is why for Valentines Day, I gave Chris a personalised photo cube as you can see in the picture. Gift Pup have a whole range of different Photo Cubes for different occasions, including Mothers Day.

The Photo cubes are made of Oak and have space for four 7cm x 7cm photos. Costing just £24.99, this is the ideal sentimental Mothers Day gift.

To buy the Mothers Day Photo Cube from Gift Pup, click here.


 If you're looking for an epic Mothers Day gift that won't leave you bankrupt then look no further than the Pink Mermaid Gin from isleofwightdistillery which is infused with island strawberries. I've put it to the test, purely for review purposes 🙄 and its becoming one of my favourite pink gins!

The bottle of this literally looks like a Mermaids tail and is a small batch gin which stands in at 38% ABV.

Priced at £35.89, this is a gin that any pink gin fan would love. Plus, what mother doesn't enjoy a wee drink on Mothers Day? I know mines certainly does!

To buy the Isle of Wight Distillery's Pink Mermaid Gin, click here.


If you're looking to buy your mum something Fashion forward, I've found some great deals!

- Simply Be - 30% off head to toe looks.
- New Look - £5 Free when you buy a £30 Gift Card.
- Missguided - 25% off everything using code 'lucky'
- Boohoo - 25% off everything

Whatever you decide to get or do for Mothers Day, I hope you have the best time!

H x

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A serious chat about Blogging

Hi everyone, 

Bear with me, I feel a wee bit like I'm in a nightclub. Not only am I a fish out of water, but everywhere I look there's people at least a decade younger than me! 

How Chris & I feel about Blogging right now - LOL!

I'm 33. I've been a Blogger/Content Creator/Influencer/WhateverTitleYouWantToGiveUs for ten years. I am an 'OG', which, obviously, I'm too old to know what that even means. Blogging is my 'thing' and I know it inside and out, yet right now, I feel as if I don't know it at all.

I first started blogging back in the prehistoric days when there was no such thing as 'buying followers' or 'For the Gram'.

Picture the scene - people just wrote down their thoughts on life and shared their opinions on products so people knew what was worth the £. Makeup tutorials invariably didn't contain an affiliate link, they were usually made, simply to share tips on application, styling and technique. Mental health was openly discussed for the first time and it became a 'safe' (or as safe as the internet can be!) place for people who needed to know they weren't alone. It became a place to share opinions and be heard without using traditional media.

As with errrrrything in life, where there is a platform, there is an opportunity to monetize or benefit from it. Brands saw that people were being influenced by what bloggers/youtubers/whatever recommended, and so began kindly sending out products to us to share our opinions on.

In those beginning days especially, we would receive hundreds of requests to review specific products. People began seeing us as someone they could rely on to let them know if something is worth their dosh. Keeping up with buying so many products to review or swatch became impossible, so the fact we were all being so kindly sent products to feature was, to us, an ideal way to continue doing what we loved without the added expense.

I remember using BlogLovin', which a lot of you won't even have heard of, and 'amassing' 500 followers. Back then, this was enough for brands like Clarins, Clinique, Nars, Revlon and dozens of other brands to send me products to review. In fact, in most cases there was no 'PR contact' or PR agencies. If we wanted to approach a brand, we invariably emailed them or (Gasp!) phoned them.

At this point, the influx of new Bloggers started to creep in, because they, understandably, saw the opportunity to get 'free' products from huge brands. Brands started to create guidelines on who they can send to and invariably, those with the most experience, or who offered the best photos of their products, as opposed to those with the higher follower numbers, were the people that they opted to work with.

I would say the 'innocence' of it went on for a good two or three years before the industry became an 'industry'. The balance between talking about everyday life and talking about products became more product heavy, because bloggers, including myself, began doing more for brands to keep them 'in' with them and to ensure we were chosen to receive their products (again, invariably not just because we wanted the free stuff, but because we wanted to continue blogging without the added expense and trying new products was exciting to be a part of). Being chosen to work with, made me personally, feel important and 'heard' which is something I had never experienced in my life. I was always a very small fish in a very large pond, but blogging made me feel the opposite way. Self indulgent? probably. You'd be lying if you think you wouldn't feel the same.

Ontop of all this, I really felt like I was part of a 'community'. I used to chat regularly to other OG Bloggers (WhatIHeartToday, ViviannaDoesMakeup, Pixiwoo, SprinkleOfGlitter, Pixi2woo, Zoella and so many others) in the comments of our blogs, on Twitter (which was new at the time) and Youtube. Lush bath bombs, Jodie Kidd Light As Air Foundation and Bourjois Chocolate Bronzer were invariably the top of our discussion points. It was really nice feeling like I was part of something.

Before we could count to 10, huge events like vidcon and meet and greets were taking place which brought on a side of blogging that became about more than getting 'free' stuff. It was about recognition and fame. People were flocking to the events to meet some Bloggers, but mainly youtubers. Youtube was really starting to take off in 2012 and narrowed that bridge between what we see on screen and the those watching it. I could watch a Tati video and feel like I was her friend, like I knew her and if 'normal' (whatever the hell that even is!) people could be heard on this big platform, then so could everyone.

The problem with this is that we, bloggers and youtubers, all started to be more aware of what we shared on the internet, knowing that millions of people could see it. I can only speak for myself when I say this, but I began selling a version of myself that didn't really exist. I would take all the best angled, well lit, selfies.  Show myself using products from brands that without being sent it, would never be able to afford otherwise. It became less about having 'real people' being relatable and more about people feeling as though they had to keep up with what we were using, what we were wearing, buying and even the lives we were living.  With that comes a lot of pressure and for me personally, with every negative comment under a video or blog post, came this overwhelming 'need' to improve what others saw of me.

As this was ongoing, Blogs were being featured in traditional media, like magazines, radio and television which further painted this picture of an ideal life to consumers. More and more new blogs were being created and before we knew it brands were vying to work with us. Bloggers were becoming Brand ambassadors and were invited to red carpet events. I, with my 1000 followers was being invited to meet with celebrities and brands to promote their products. I was asked to go to festivals and award ceremonies. Bloggers were loathed and misunderstood a lot by traditional media. I remember being called a 'leech' at one stage because we weren't 'qualified' like typical journalists.

At this stage I, and many others, started taking things like SEO, social media & promoting really seriously, knowing that the more people saw our content, the more we benefitted. We could work with all the big brands, meet the celebrities and walk the red carpet if we just kept on creating content. It sounds all so self indulgent but bear with me, I can explain!

Understandably, as more people started seeing Bloggers in the press, many others flocked in their droves to start their own Blogs and email brands asking for products. This is when brands started to become much more strict with their product placement. I do completely understand this and in my heart, whilst I always hoped that Blogging wouldn't turn into an 'industry', I always knew that it would. I can't blame people for wanting their chance at the same opportunities and seeing what we started, become something that people aspire to do is something I am proud of.

Advertisers and brands began creating strategies to work with us. At this stage, our 'readership' (follower count) was, primarily, what brands focussed on. The more followers you have = more exposure for the brand = more sales = more money. It makes sense, and in their position, I am certain that I would do the exact same, but this is where the 'industry' began to be resented and cheated.

We went from having less than a couple thousand bloggers worldwide in 2010, to now having millions in 2020. I, and so many others, started to feel like a very small fish in a very big pond but there were sharks in there and I must admit, I never saw what happened next coming.

To support each other, people began creating groups where creators could follow each other which would boost their follower number and therefore boost our profiles. I liked this idea and I'm not ashamed to admit that even to this day, I like to do this. I am all for supporting each other honestly and fairly. If a brand asks if I participate in these groups, I am very happy to admit it.

Moving forward from 'support groups' was the beginning of the dishonesty in the industry and something I will never be a part of.  Services became available to grow your platform, thus making you stand out to brands and advertisers. There is a service for everything, you can 'buy' followers, likes, comments, subscribers and even a better DA.

I get that using services like this is tempting. I have looked at growth platforms in the past and whilst I'm proud to say I didn't use them, I have paid for advertising before, where I promote myself via google adwords and other online platforms, which in my opinion increases the likelihood of growth in a genuine, relatively organic way.

It's hard to resist being able to get 10,000 'real' followers for £25, but in my opinion, if it seems too good to be true, it's because it usually is. These followers are not real and whilst you may look impressive to brands etc the bigger picture shows that these people are scamming you and YOU are scamming your readers, brands and advertisers with fake stats.

Your readers are the people who will be here in five years. I might have 4100 odd followers on Instagram, but I can guarantee they have all interacted with me since following - not on every post obviously! I wish!

Surely having 4100 followers who talk to me, like my posts, share my work, shop through my links and enjoy being a part of my life is better than having 41,000 followers who don't interact with my content at all.

This imbalance has caused so many problems. I went through a phase of being bitter and shaming everyone who I came across that was using these 'get famous fast' schemes. I felt cheated. It has taken me 10 years to get to where I am today and because of people who cheat the system, people like me are on the brink of doing something else.

I can't tell you how many times I've sat at my computer and sobbed my eyes out because another brand who I've proudly worked with for all those years adopted a new 'blogger outreach system' that meant I was surplus to their requirements. Brands who used to send me products every month and who I did a lot of work for - free of charge in the majority of cases - until 2 years ago when they decided I was no longer worthy of a Lipstick and instead had to take a back seat to those who cheat the system.

It's also worth noting that two brands pointed out that my age (33) is 'outwith the age aesthetic of their brand' but that's a whole other story. Ageism is real in every industry!

I pointed out to all of these brands that I valued our working relationship and asked for feedback on why they no longer wanted to work with me. I wasn't responded to in some cases and in others, I was told clearly that my audience doesn't compare to the whippersnappers who are 'new' to the industry. I've come to realise, sadly, that there is very little loyalty in this business. There is only 'what can you do for me?'.

I can hear a lot of you thinking I'm behaving in an entitled way. I'm not. I would go to the end of the world and back to prove myself and I know that I am owed or entitled to nothing. I'm just so sad that it's come to this.

A lot of people will be thinking that PR's an advertisers are able to determine the difference between those who are 'fakes' and the genuine ones. Believe it or not, in many cases they just choose not to. As far as some (not all) are concerned, as long as they stick to their guidelines (follower amount, age, demographic) then that's all that matters. If you're one of the ones who do care and you're reading this, there are also ways for 'influencers' to trick you - you can buy a good DA score, you can buy a good CTR, you can buy a UK demographic even if you're in Croatia, there are so many ways to cheat the system and I can't blame you if you're being fooled by it. I was too for a long time.

It might sound like I'm telling brands to only work with the OG's, I'm really not. There is room in the community for everyone, if everyone grows organically and honestly. My advice to PR's is to look for the individuals who talk about their life. You'll usually find the 'honest' ones aren't ALWAYS trying to sell or promote, and instead are trying to engage with their audience. If you want the best for your brand, ask for recommendations from others and be open to working with smaller audiences. I'd rather give my product to someone 'smaller', who engages with their audience rather than someone with a large following who posts about it and has to pay to be interacted with.

Yes, shade is 100% intended. I'm not sorry anymore. This has completely ruined everything this started out to be. I've spoken with so many others in my position, some who are suffering with depression because they created a business from their blogs, like I have, and no longer stand a chance. I've even had chats with someone who is suicidal because they have gotten into thousands of pounds worth of debt just trying to keep afloat. I've had my friends permission to mention this in this article because they, like me, think it's important to talk about it.

The saddest part of all of this is the inability to engage with new followers as easily. Gone are the days when I could ask if anyone knew how to flip an image on Twitter and could chat away to some likeminded people. Nowadays, If I ask for advice I'm sometimes given a link to purchase help which pretty much sums up todays blogging industry.

What does the future hold for me? God knows. I don't even know if the industry will survive and I really don't know what else I, or others, can do without cheating the system. I'm not willing to compromise myself or my integrity for anything, but it's tempting when you see how easy it would be.

If you're cheating the system, just stop. Please. Start doing things more organically. If everyone does the same then the work we get would be based on the work we put in and that, to me, is a fair and equal way to get ahead.

If you're a brand, a PR, an advertiser or another professional in this industry, please know I am not blaming you. I'm not shaming you. I'm desperately, DESPERATELY, trying to make a change.

I'd appreciate any comments on this matter with your own personal experiences. If you want to talk about your experiences or you have somewhat 'cheated' the system but would rather do it anonymously, please email me at - I will publish your comment anonymously (guaranteed).

If you're another blogger like me who wants to share support for one another, my links are below to follow - please leave me your links too :)

All My Love,

H x
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Ways To Boost Your Confidence In 2020*

If you feel that you could often improve your confidence levels, but you are not sure how you would go about it, you are not alone. This is a position that many people are stuck in much of the time, and the truth is that it is the kind of experience that many of us are going to go through at least once or twice in our lives. The good news is that there are always things you can do to ensure that you can boost your confidence, no matter what kind of a starting position you might be working with. In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the best ways in which you might be able to boost your confidence in 2020.
Work On Your Self-Esteem

It is always true that the best kind of confidence is that which comes from a high self-esteem, as that is a genuine kind of confidence that cannot easily be shaken. Or when it is shaken, it is going to rebalance itself pretty quickly in general. In order to develop this kind of confidence, you need to make sure that you are going to be aware of what it is that you genuinely like about yourself, so that you can focus on those things as best as you can. By doing that, you will ultimately find yourself in a much better position indeed, and you will find that you are going to have a natural confidence that shines through automatically. Building your self-esteem is a great thing to do at any time.

Improve Your Looks

When it comes to working on your looks, it’s always worth bearing in mind that this does not mean that you need to try and make yourself look a certain way or that you have to follow a particular cultural trend. Rather, you should aim to make yourself look as attractive to yourself as possible, and not worry about anyone else. As long as you like what you see in the mirror, you should find that this is all that matters when it comes to keeping your confidence high. That could mean that you want to get a facelift, or it could just be as simple as taking better care of your skincare. Whatever it takes, it’s bound to help you with your confidence considerably.

Get Social

Most of us need some degree of a social life if we are to enjoy ourselves and enjoy being ourselves. Of course, how much you want to socialize is up to you, and everyone differs in the specifics of this. But you will probably need some kind of a social life if you want to feel good about yourself, so you should make sure to work towards making that a reality if that is something that you have identified as important in yourself. Whether that means seeing the occasional friend, or whether it’s partying every weekend, that’s up to you - the important thing is that you are going to want to ensure that you are socializing to the degree that you enjoy. You will find it easier to feel good about yourself this way, and you’ll just be enjoying life more too.
Develop Some Communication Skills

Many of us struggle with good social communication. If this is an experience that you know well, you are going to want to work on this if you are keen to make yourself feel more confident. The good news is that there are always improvements you can make here, and you shouldn’t find that it is too much of a problem to try and make it a reality. But you’ll also want to think about what kind of communication skills you specifically need to work on, so that you know what you are actually going to need to do. Once you have developed your communication skills further, you are going to feel naturally much more confident in yourself, in a way that is likely to feel unshakeable. That’s a great feeling, and one that you can hang on to for good.

Focus On Yourself

Lastly, just remember that what all this comes down to largely is focusing on yourself. That doesn’t mean ignoring your loved ones, it just means that you put yourself first and that you promote your own needs wherever necessary. By doing that, you prove to yourself how important you are, and that ends up being an important part of this entire process. Bear that in mind, and you should be fine.

*This is a collaborative piece.
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